Monday, November 12, 2007

No One is the Wiser

Today's holiday used to be called Armistice Day. Here's Wikipedia on the subject:

Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.
The date was a national holiday in many of the former allied nations to allow people to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. After World War II, it was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Armistice Day is an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the day of peace in the Flanders Fields.

In many parts of the world, people take two minutes of silence at 11:00 in the morning as a sign of respect for the roughly eight million who died in the war."

I suppose having a day that honors the peace is just not war like enough for us. We have to honor the veterans of such war, not the peace that was declared.

When you think about it, the peace that didn't last was actually just a cease fire.

We all remember in our history books about the Treaty of Versailles, and how it sowed the seeds of the next war with roman numerals. The US Congress never ratified it.

The Treaty was signed exactly 5 years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, one of the events that triggered the start of the war. Although the armistice signed on November 11, 1918 put an end to the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude a peace treaty.

Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial provisions required Germany to accept full responsibility for causing the war and, under the terms of articles 231-248, disarm, make substantial territorial concessions and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Allies.

The Treaty was undermined by subsequent events starting as early as 1922 and was widely flouted by the mid thirties.

But what is important about this holiday is that on the 11th day of the 11th months on the 11th hour, the useless carnage and death that was"World War I" was simply stopped by the powers that be, at least for a while.

I think that might be why we don't celebrate Armistice Day anymore.

If war can simply be stopped,

then our young soldiers might question

their slaughter and their sacrifice.

Better to rename the holiday after them.

That way,
No one is the wiser.

Armistice Day courtesy of Jenny Halstead
There is a Renewable Energy Conference starting today in Abilene.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home